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Baca Pushes for Native American Home Ownership Rights

Location: Washington, DC

June 3, 2004

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43) co-sponsored a bill to support Native American home ownership rights today.

The financial services committee passed H.R. 4471, the Homeownership Opportunities for Native Americans Act. The bill would uphold Title VI of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. The act guarantees up to 95 percent of loans to finance affordable housing activities for Native Americans. The Office of Management and Budget is currently seeking to change that amount to 80 percent.

"All Americans, whether you live in Washington, D.C., California, Arizona, Utah or a tribal reservation, are entitled to the American dream," Baca said.

"For too long our Native American brothers and sisters have been treated as second-class citizens."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has guaranteed tribal obligations to help finance affordable housing activities under the 95 percent level since the implementation of Title VI in the late 1990s. The Office of Management and Budget recently claimed that loan guarantees cannot exceed 80 percent without explicit statutory authority. H.R. 4471 would amend Title VI to provide statutory authority, allowing it to continue to operate at the 95 percent level.

"I fully support H.R. 4471," said Baca. "This bill today is a strong step towards putting Native Americans on a fair playing field."

For more information about the Home Ownership for Native Americans Act, please contact Joanne Peters, press secretary for Congressman Baca, at (202) 225-6161, or for local inquiries, please contact Michael Townsend at (909) 885-2222.

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